(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "History And Human Relation"

TRAGIC    ELEMENT    IN   MODERN    CONFLICT

see the English monarchy coming into a serious pre-
dicament in this period in any case; and something of
,a parallel kind is seen to take place as we study the
conflicts of the reign of George IIL The central fact—
the one that gives the new structure to the whole
narrative—is a certain predicament, a certain situation
that contains the elements of conflict irrespective of any
special wickedness in any of the parties concerned; and
ttfe personal goodness or badness of Charles I or
George HI operates only, so to speak, on the margin of
this, and becomes rather a fringing issue. So, while
contemporary ways of formulating the human conflict
have the structure of melodrama, the white hero fighting
the black villain of the piece in a straight war of right
versus wrong, historiography in the course of time
leads us to transpose the lines of the picture and redraft
the whole issue, especially as we come to comprehend
more deeply the men who were not like-minded with
ourselves. The higher historiography moves away
from melodrama and brings out the tragic element in
human conflict.

If all this is true, then we who are so deeply engaged
in an age of conflict are under an obligation not to be
too blindly secure, too wilfully confident, in the con-
temporary ways of formulating that conflict; and it is
incumbent upon us not quite to forget how future
historiography may expose the limitations of our vision.
If all this is true, then an issue is drawn between the view
which the contemporary historian so often tends to
possess and the view associated with a higher and riper
stage of historiography—the view of what I hope I may